Buena Vista spin-off albums tend to be hit or miss. At their best, they showcase Cuban musical tradition in a new package of sound. At their worst, they're derivative, showcasing not-so-stellar talent.
Morrissey is eyeing a spring release for his first concert album in over a decade, "Live From Earl's Court," plus a separate live DVD, "Who Put the 'M' in Manchester." The sets chronicle the former Smiths frontman's 2004 tour in support of his latest Attack/Sanctuary album, "You Are the Quarry."
"Valende" opens with a crackling acoustic number, and its second song is an all-out "Nuggets"-era rocker, complete with handclaps, a vintage keyboard and indefinable screeches. From here, Jennifer Gentle goes in a more atmospheric direction.
Amanda & the Marbles pulled critical praise for their 2002 album, "More Seduction," and fans dubbed their sound "neo new wave power pop punk." It's an accurate description for the dozen tracks comprising "Angels With Dirty Faces," particularly with the addition of keyboards that further flesh out the band's early-'80s roller-rink tunes.